Environmental Factors and Infertility
The harmful effects of bad air and man made chemicals on humans, wildlife and plant life are well documented. Environmental pollution causes cancers, birth defects and infertility in humans and animals alike. Chemicals in the air we breathe, the water we drink and the food we eat can all play a role in our health and ability to procreate.
Occupational and Environmental Toxins and their Effects
When it comes to exposure to chemicals and toxins, the places where we live and work will directly affect our levels of exposure. 60% of all cases of infertility are caused by health factors, while 40% of infertility cases have no known cause. It is very likely that diet, lifestyle and exposure to environmental pollutants are playing a role in the ever increasing rates of infertility.
Currently, the U.S. lists infertility, reproductive disorders, teratogenesis and miscarriage among the top ten workplace injuries and diseases. Despite the controversy that continues to swirl around the impact of man-made chemicals on human health, these trends cannot be ignored.
|Known Toxins||Effects on Fertility|
|Medical Treatments and Materials||Ovarian malfunctions can be caused by exposure to radiation from chemotherapy, x-rays and other medical tools.|
|Lead||Known to cause miscarriage|
|Dibromochloropropane (DBCP)||Found in pesticides. DBCP is believed to cause ovarian malfunctions, which may impact fertility and lead to early menopause.|
|Benzo(a)pyrene (BaP)||Found in car exhaust, BaP combined with lead has been shown to lower fertility in animals by reducing ovarian follicles.|
|Ethylene Oxide||Used in pesticides and to sterilize surgical instruments. Can cause early miscarriage and birth defects.|
|Chlorpyrifos (Durban)||Exposure to this pesticide has been found to raise the levels of autoimmune antibodies, which can attack sperms or eggs, reducing the chances of conception. In one study, autoimmune antibodies were found in 33% of women unable to carry a baby to full-term and 0% of women who could.|
|Chemical Solvent||Acetone, xylene, petroleum distillates and trichloroethylene are all believed to increase the risk of miscarriage in early pregnancy.|
|Butylated Hydroxyanisole (BHA)||BHA is a chemical which mimics estrogen (also called environmental estrogens). These disrupt the body’s metabolism and production of hormones, which could lead to reproductive issues.|
|PVC Plastics||Like BHA, PVC is an environmental estrogen, which can disrupt the body’s metabolism and production of hormones, leading to reproductive issues.|